Volume 16, No.04 - April 2012

Global dialogue on development

Promoting inclusive growth with jobs

The Economic and Social Council will convene on 3 April a global preparatory meeting (GPM) for the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) of the 2012 substantive session high-level segment.

The main objective of the GPM  is to identify the key issues to be considered by Member States in preparing for the 2012 AMR on “Promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the MDGs”.

An informal summary of the meeting’s deliberations will be prepared, which will capture the key messages from the discussions.  The informal summary will serve as an input into the Report of the Secretary General on the theme of the 2012 AMR and also help to inform the negotiations on the Ministerial Declaration.

The meeting will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and will be divided into three distinct parts; a brief opening session with a keynote address and two short sessions, one with a member of the Committee on Development Policy (CDP) and the other with representatives of the key United Nations organizations that are engaged in promoting the implementation of the Global Jobs Pact.

It is expected that the meeting will:

  • Highlight key policy and other requirements for building productive capacity and promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing countries, particularly least developed and vulnerable countries, as well as connecting its importance to MDG achievements and the discussion on a fairer, greener and more sustainable globalization;
  • Put a spotlight on economic growth models that promote job creation, are sustainable, inclusive and equitable and can be tailored to the particular needs of countries, while promoting social protection and rights at work;
  • Provide an assessment of progress towards achieving employment related goals and commitments and support provided by the UN system to that end;
  • Highlight the inter-linkages between recommended policy measures and progress towards poverty eradication and other internationally agreed development goals; and
  • Address the widening inequalities within and among countries.

For more information:
ECOSOC website

Adolescents and youth central to development issues

The forty-fifth session of the Commission on Population and Development will discuss the theme of “Adolescents and youth” from 23-27 April in New York.

There are over 1.8 billion young people aged 10 to 24 years worldwide. While the number of adolescents and youth worldwide is likely to remain relatively stable over the rest of the century, this stability masks important regional differences that have implications for development. Investments in the education, health, including sexual and reproductive health, and livelihoods of adolescents and youth are essential for them to achieve their full potential and contribute to sustainable and equitable development.

This year’s session of the Commission on Population and Development will discuss demographic trends in the adolescent and youth population and selected aspects of the transition to adulthood, including the implications of early marriage and childbearing and the policy and programmatic efforts being made to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people, especially those who are most vulnerable. Discussions are also expected to highlight the health of young people generally given that the major causes of ill health and death among this age group, including HIV/AIDS, maternal causes, and injuries, are often preventable, and the health behaviours learned during adolescence and youth are key to a lifetime of good health. The Commission may also take up discussion of the situation of young migrants and the broader programmes and policies that can foster decent work opportunities for all young people.

Items on the agenda for the session include actions to follow-up on the recommendations of the ICPD, a general debate on national experience in population matters, programme implementation and future programme of work of the Secretariat in the field of population, contribution of population and development issues to the theme of the annual ministerial review in 2012 (“Promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the Millennium Development Goals”) and the adoption of the report of the Commission on its forty-fifth session.

The Population Commission was established by the Economic and Social Council in 1946 and renamed the Commission on Population and Development by the General Assembly in 1994. In addition to advising the Council, the Commission, as a functional commission assisting the Council, has the task of monitoring, reviewing and assessing the implementation at the national, regional and international levels of the Programme of Action of the ICPD. The Commission is composed of 47 members, who are elected on the basis of equitable geographic distribution and serve a term of four years.

For more information:
The Commission on Population and Development

Challenges of Developing Countries in Tax Matters

The Economic and Social Council held, on 15 March 2012, a one-day special meeting to consider the question of international cooperation in tax matters, including institutional arrangements to promote such cooperation.

The President of ECOSOC invited representatives of national tax authorities to participate in the meeting. Accordingly, Ms. Allen Kagina, Commissioner-General of the Uganda Revenue Authority, delivered a keynote address on “Current Challenges, Priorities and Experiences of Developing Countries in Tax Matters”.

The central feature of the meeting was an official launch of the United Nations Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries: 2011 Update.

The meeting also featured a panel discussion on “The Role of Multilateral Bodies in Strengthening International Cooperation in Tax Matters”, with the participation of major international organizations active in the tax area.

The ECOSOC official meeting was preceded by an expert group meeting on “Transfer Pricing and Capacity Development in Tax Matters”, organized jointly, on 14 March 2012, by FfDO/DESA and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) New York Office.

For more information:
The Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters
United Nations Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries

Identifying world’s most pressing governance challenges

On Wednesday, 7 March, DESA organized a special panel discussion for ECOSOC with the title “ECOSOC and Global Governance”.

The panel was chaired by the President of ECOSOC, Ambassador Miloš Koterec of Slovakia, and moderated by Ambassador Gert Rosenthal of Guatemala. The panel was composed of Ambassador Albert Chua of Singapore; Mr. Roberto Marino, Special Representative of Mexico to the G20; and Mr. José Antonio Ocampo of Columbia University.

The objective of this event was to identify the world’s most pressing global governance challenges and examine how the United Nations ― and ECOSOC in particular ― can better meet them. The panelists addressed three main issues:

1) Improving the UN’s leadership and effectiveness in sustainable development governance;

2) Improving coordination between ECOSOC and the UN with the G20; and

3) the role of ECOSOC in global financial and economic governance and improving the UN’s leadership on global governance challenges.

Seventeen delegations made interventions from the floor. Both panellists and delegates engaged in a very active and frank discussion. For example, Ambassador Chua was highly critical of the current working methods of ECOSOC and also proposed that the membership of ECOSOC be restructured to improve its geographical representation. Mr. Marino expressed the intent of the Mexican Presidency of the G20 to work closely with ECOSOC and the UN, and stated that the G20 under Mexico’s leadership would be open, inclusive and transparent. Mr. Ocampo questioned the legitimacy of the G20 and stated that the G20 should identify what is missing in global governance and then be dismantled.

For more information:
The concept note for this event

OESC/DESA is preparing an informal President’s summary of the event, which will be posted on the ECOSOC website.